Week 1 didn’t go well for the Chicago Bears. All of the positive momentum that they built in the offseason with the moves that they made quickly disappeared after they suffered yet another embarrassing loss at the hands of their NFC North rivals, the Green Bay Packers.
The Bears lost the game 38-20, as there seems to be a lot that still needs to be fixed. That isn’t too surprising as they did finish last season 3-14 and on a 10-game losing streak. But, there was optimism that some strides would be made in 2023.
The same issues that plagued Chicago last season popped up again in Week 1. Justin Fields was under siege from the opening snap, facing pressure on more than half of his dropbacks. They couldn’t get any pressure on Jordan Love, who picked them apart with big play after big play.
Their rebuild is still in the early stages, but there is enough talent on the team to at least be competitive, which they weren’t for the second half against the Packers. Right now, their biggest weakness still remains in the secondary, which is why Matt Holder of Bleacher Report has urged them to make a signing.
Holder has listed their two biggest weaknesses as cornerback and nickleback. It is hard to argue against that, especially since slot corner Kyler Gordon will be sidelined for at least four weeks after being placed on IR with a serious hand injury. To help combat that issue, Holder has suggested that the Bears sign veteran free agent defensive back, Casey Hayward.
“Hayward would bring 11 years of knowledge to the position group, and he’s two seasons removed from recording nine passes defended while serving as the Raiders’ top cornerback. Granted, this would depend on how his medicals check out as the Falcons released him with a failed physical after he suffered a shoulder injury in 2022.”
Some veteran experience at corner would make a lot of sense for Chicago. Gordon was a second-year player and his backup, Josh Blackwell, is a second-year guy as well. Rookie Tyrique Stevenson is already an every-down player opposite Jaylon Johnson, the only established cornerback on the roster.
There is certainly some risk in signing Hayward given the injury history, but if he isn’t healthy enough to play, he will just end up back a free agent. The reward greatly outweighs that, as he could stabilize the unit and turn a weakness into a strength.